April 21, 2010

Understanding Seizures in Dogs

Filed under: dog seizures — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:25 am

This may come as a bit of a surprise, but one of the most commonly seen health problems in dogs are seizures. Seizures can be very frightening because we usually associate them with more serious health problems, which may or may not be the case. It may even be difficult to recognize your dog is suffering from seizures but there are some common signs that should help.

Some of the signs of dog seizures include

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Rapid and uncontrolled muscular contractions
  • Changes in mental awareness
  • Involuntary urination or defecation
  • Behavioral changes

Generally a dog’s seizure will have three phases:

    1. Aura
    2. Ictal phase
    3. Post-ictal phase

During the first phase of dog seizure, the aura, your dog will demonstrate strange behavior. He may try to hide or become restless, nervous, whiny, or confused. This phase may last just a few seconds or up to a couple of hours. The ictal phase of dog seizures is when muscle contractions begin. Your dog may fall on its side and appear paralyzed but his body will probably be shaking. Finally, the post-ictal phase of seizure is characterized by disorientation and confusion as well as some physical signs such as temporary blindness.

It’s important to remember that your dog is feeling no pain during a seizure and as an owner you should try to prevent your dog from falling and being injured. The main problem with seizures is that it is very difficult to diagnose their cause. Nevertheless, you should always visit your veterinarian if your dog suffers a seizure. Dog seizures may be caused by dehydration, epilepsy, brain tumors or any number of other serious conditions. Your veterinarian will need to take a full history in order to treat the underlying causes of the seizures.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.